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Indonesia withdraws from Miss Universe 2021 amid new COVID-19 variant

By PhilSTAR L!fe Published Nov 28, 2021 3:43 pm

Another country has announced its withdrawal from the upcoming Miss Universe pageant. 

On Sunday, November 28, the Puteri Indonesia Foundation, the franchise that sends delegates to Miss Universe, announce that it will not be able to participate in the 2021 edition of the pageant, which will be held in Israel on December 13 (Philippine time).

According to the official statement, the tight preparation time and local COVID-19 restrictions made them decide to withdraw.

The complete statement reads: “The Puteri Indonesia Foundation wishes the 70th Miss Universe Competition and all the delegates great success. May the best candidate win the coveted title, and continue to inspire all women in their communities.

“With a heavy heart, we would like to inform you that we will not be able to participate in the 70th Miss Universe Pageant. Tight preparation time and local COVID-19 restrictions led to our decision of not sending our Indonesian representative for this year’s competition.

“The Puteri Indonesia Foundation is currently conducting selection process across several provinces in Indonesia. We look forward to participating again in next year’s edition of the Miss Universe Pageant.”

Ayu Maulida Putri (in main photo) represented Indonesia in the Miss Universe 2020 pageant held in the US earlier this year. 

Indonesia’s withdrawal comes amid news that Israel is banning entry of all foreigners into the country for 14 days, to contain the spread of the new Omicron COVID-19 variant.

Israel earlier banned the entry of foreigners from seven African countries.

The Miss Universe Organization is yet to officially announce the faith of the upcoming pageant in Israel, but based on the contestants’ social media post, a number of them are already in the pageant’s host country—including the Philippines’ Beatrice Gomez, who flew to Israel on Saturday night. As of this writing, Gomez is yet to post on her social media accounts to confirm her arrival in Israel.

Miss Universe Malaysia announced in August that it was also not sending a delegate to this year’s Miss Universe pageant. (Chuck Smith)